A man’s been jailed for 5 years and 8 months for causing death by dangerous driving, after a crash in the Harrogate district which killed a grandmother.

At around 10pm on 3rd April 2019, 23 year old William Charles Jackson of Aire Road in Wetherby was driving along the A168 between Kirk Deighton and Walshford.

As he approached the crest of a hill with double solid white lines between the north and southbound carriageways, Jackson made the fatal manoeuvre, claiming he was overtaking a slower moving vehicle in front of him.

But he didn’t see a car coming the other way and collided with it head on.

The collision killed 62-year-old grandmother Maria Cuzyova, who was visiting her family from Slovakia and was travelling as a rear seat passenger in the other vehicle.

Mrs Cuzyova’s daughter, Michaela Young who was driving the other car and her son-in-law Nicholas Young, who was travelling as the front seat passenger, both sustained life changing injuries in the incident.

Their 5-year-old daughter, who was also in the vehicle at the time, thankfully only sustained minor injuries.

But the court heard in a moving victim’s statement read by Mr Young, that she will always remember the horror of the incident which took her grandmother’s life.

Jackson pleaded guilty to one count of causing death by dangerous driving and two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He was sentenced to 5 years and 8 months imprisonment and was banned from driving for 7 years and 10 months. He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £190.

Speaking after the sentencing, Senior Investigating Officer Traffic Sergeant Kirsten Aldridge from the North Yorkshire Police Major Collision Investigation Team said:

“My heart goes out to the Young and Cuzyova family.

“Maria had just arrived in the UK to visit her family over half term. They were travelling back home after spending a lovely evening together and should have been all been able to return safely. However, due to the irresponsible actions of Jackson and his poor decision making, they will forevermore remember that night with heartache and sorrow.

“I’d like to thank my colleagues in the Major Collision Investigation Team and Forensic Collision Investigation Unit for their hard work and determination in bringing this case to court and securing justice for the family. While the sentence handed to Jackson today will never bring Mrs Cuzyova back, I hope it does help the family to move forward knowing that justice has been served and Jackson will spend time behind bars for the crime he committed.

“I hope the sentence also acts as a reminder that every driver on the road has a responsibility for the safety of other drivers and road users around them. A poorly judged manoeuvre or a hastily thought through decision can have devastating, fatal effects. So, please drive safely and with consideration to others at all times.”

Maria’s daughter Michaela Young, issued the following moving tribute:

“Mum was full of life and loved by everyone. She was devoted to her family, especially her grandchildren who miss her every day.  My Dad’s lost his wife of 40 years, his rock, and my Grandma her only daughter and main carer.  I have lost my Mum and a best friend.

“Our family has been ripped apart and we are all utterly devastated. Both my husband and I are left with lifelong injuries that constantly remind us of the horror caused by William Jackson. We would like to thank the emergency services and our local community for all the help and support they have provided during this very difficult time.”

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